In a 2019 National Travel Survey, over 2.6% of participants aged 18 and above admitted to having been involved in a road traffic accident in the twelve months preceding their interview.

Road traffic accident claims are the most common personal injury claims dealt with by Irish solicitors, largely because of the range of dangerous incidents that can occur on the road.

Generally speaking, Ireland has made strides forward in making the roads a safer place – 2021 saw the number of fatalities on the road fall to 136, the lowest total since recording began in 1959.

By that metric, the country ranks second for road safety among EU countries, but those statistics offer scant consolation to those that have been involved, or those whose loved ones have been involved, in serious road traffic accidents.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Road Accident Claim

Accidents on the road happen for a host of different reasons and they can involve drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

If you suffer personal injuries as a result of a road traffic accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

For more information on the mechanics behind road traffic accident claims, feel free to contact a road traffic accident solicitor at Hughes & Associates Solicitors.

Are You Entitled to a Road Traffic Accident Claim?

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians are all entitled to file road traffic accident claims if it is proven that they suffered an accident or personal injury because of someone else’s negligence on the road.

Proving negligence requires you to establish two things:

  • The negligent party, or the person responsible for your accident, owed you a duty of care.
  • That duty was breached, directly resulting in, or contributing to, your injury.

If, for example, the reckless actions of the other driver involved in your car accident are proven to be the reason the accident occurred, there may be a basis for you to file a claim.

There is a broad scope for road traffic accidents and every situation is different, but if you feel as though you have reason to submit a personal injury claim, feel free to get in touch with a road traffic accident solicitor from our team.

Types of Road Traffic Accident Claims

As has been mentioned, road traffic accidents can involve all manner of vehicles and many different situations can constitute negligence on Irish roads.

There is no definitive list of accidents that can form the basis of a claim for compensation, but there are incidents, considered to be somewhat typical, that pose danger to vehicles.

Some common accidents that can provide the basis for a road traffic claim include:

Rear-end Collision Claim:

Usually, but not always, a rear-end collision is the fault of the rear-ending driver. These accidents can cause concussion, fractures, significant injuries to the brain and spinal cord and, most commonly, whiplash.

Side Impact Collision Claim:

A side impact collision can often occur when a car is merging into another lane, or when a driver fails to yield to oncoming cars at a junction. Naturally, in an incident that involves one car crashing into the side of another, there is scope for many kinds of personal injuries, including whiplash, cuts and lacerations, broken bones, brain and spinal cord injuries and paralysis.

Head-on Collision Claims:

Head-on collisions can be between two vehicles, or between a vehicle and a stationary object. They can cause enormous harm to drivers, passengers and, in the case of a crash with a motionless object, huge damage to property. Head-on collisions can result in very serious injury, including head trauma, internal injuries, nerve injuries, cuts and lacerations, paralysis and wrongful death.

Passenger Injury Claims:

A passenger can interpret a road accident differently to a driver, whose attention and awareness of danger is heightened because they are focused on the road. As a result, they may brace themselves for impact while a passenger will react to the accident a split second later, and potentially sustain more damage. If a passenger is shown to have not worn their seatbelt at the time of the accident, any compensation they receive may be reduced. Passengers can suffer whiplash, cuts and lacerations, brain and nerve damage, fractures and more.

Minor Impact Road Traffic Accident Claims:

We often assume that the external damage a car sustains is directly linked to the extent of the injuries sustained by the people involved. In actuality, the personal injuries in a road traffic accident can be made worse by factors like the height, weight and seating location of the injured party.

Roundabout Accident Claims:

Entering and exiting a roundabout can be tricky, and if drivers fail to properly navigate the intersection, they can leave themselves vulnerable to a collision. Roundabout accidents are more common among new or inexperienced drivers who are not fully comfortable in their environment.

These accidents can occur in different types of vehicles, many of which are listed below.

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Car Accident Claims

With over 2.2 million Car accidents on Irish roads, cars accident claims are easily the most common type of road traffic accidents.

Personal injuries sustained in car accidents are often the result of negligence on the part of one of the drivers involved.

If you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian that was involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you may have the basis for a car accident claim.

Taxi Accident Claims

Taxi usage in Ireland is on an upward trajectory with surveys suggesting that well over 60% of people in the country have used a taxi over the last twelve months.

There has been a well documented strain on the taxi industry post-pandemic and, with a fleet of over 16,000 taxis operating in Ireland today, they play a major role in our transport industry.

Impacting drivers, passengers and pedestrians, taxi accidents can result in different parties seeking to claim compensation, either against the taxi driver or another individual responsible for causing the injury.

Lorry Accident Claims

Lorries, or Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) can be particularly dangerous in a road traffic accident given they usually weigh over 3.5 tons.

Lorry drivers are often required to undertake long haul journeys and, if working longer hours, they can be susceptible to driver fatigue.

EU regulations aim to protect drivers of HGVs from excessive driving time and the longest period a driver is permitted to be on the road for without taking a break is 4.5 hours.

Bicycle Accident Claims

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable in a road traffic accident as, in a crash with another vehicle, they are less protected and more susceptible to a serious injury.

Legally, a cyclist is also far less protected in a road traffic accident than a driver of a car, bus or lorry.

If you suffered an accident while cycling that was not your fault, you may have the basis for a road traffic accident claim.

Emergency Vehicle Accident Claims

Emergency vehicles primarily include Garda vehicles, ambulances and fire brigade vehicles.

These modes of transport are granted special dispensation to sometimes break the speed limit and run red lights, but it does not absolve them from all responsibility in a road traffic accident.

If the driver of an emergency vehicle acts recklessly and employs no caution for other people on the road, they may be held liable for any road traffic accident injuries sustained.

Bus Accident Claims

Buses are, by and large, one of the safest forms of transport in Ireland, but bus accidents can and do still happen.

When a bus accident does occur, it can pose significant danger due to the size of the vehicle and the number of people onboard.

Road traffic accident claims for incidents involving buses can be brought against the Bus Claims Department. 

E-Bike and Motorised Scooter Accident Claims

Electric bikes and scooters are vehicles that are powered by a small utility internal combustion engine or an electric hub motor.

Projections suggest that, by 2030, there will be more e-bikes purchased in Europe than cars, meaning the electric bike and scooter industry will be crucial to Irish transport in the coming years.

As with bicycle accident claims, there is limited legal protection for e-bike and e-scooter users, but if they suffer a road traffic accident that is not their fault, they may still be entitled to make a claim.

Similarly to bicycles, e-bike and e-scooter riders are also particularly vulnerable in crashes with heavier, better protected vehicles – and the speed at which they travel can make the extent of a potential injury even more severe.

Pedestrian Accident Claims

With no protection or safety equipment at all (a cyclist should wear a helmet, for instance), pedestrians are undoubtedly the most vulnerable road users.

If you suffer a road traffic accident as a pedestrian through no fault of your own, you may consider filing a claim after you seek medical attention.

Common causes of Road Accidents

According to the Injuries Board, road traffic accidents are the most common source of claims – 75% of the settlements in Ireland are awarded as a result of car crashes. The most common factors that lead to serious personal injuries and fatalities on the road are:

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driver fatigue (driving while tired)
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt
  • Weather conditions that lead to hazardous driving
  • Merging traffic

What to Do in a Hit and Run Accident

The law states that any drivers involved in a road traffic accident must exchange contact details and information about their insurance company before leaving the scene.

Still, hit and run accidents do happen and, even if it proves impossible to track down the parties involved in the incident, you may be entitled to compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.

A percentage of every motor insurance policy in Ireland is used to pay for the MIBI, whose funds protect victims of hit and run accidents.

MIBI claims can also impact victims of road traffic accidents with uninsured drivers.

What to Do if Your Accident Involves an Uninsured Driver

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland was set up to protects drivers involved in accidents that made submitting a standard road traffic accident claim more difficult.

Primarily, the MIBI is concerned with hit and run accidents and accidents involving uninsured drivers.

If the party responsible for your injury lacks or has a faulty insurance policy, you may want to seek retribution from the MIBI. 

How Much Can I Claim for a Road Traffic Accident?

Compensation for road traffic accident claims varies from case to case, and if you would like a concentrated estimate of the value of your case, you can inquire with a personal injury solicitor at Hughes & Associates for a full assessment.

The factors that usually influence the amount of compensation involved in a road traffic accident claim include:

  • The impact the injury will have on the victim’s standard of life.
  • The cost of medical treatment required for the treatment of the injuries.
  • The loss of earnings the victim suffers while unable to fulfill their professional duties.
  • The cost of any future medical attention and rehabilitation required for the victim’s injuries.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Road Traffic Accident Claim

Steps to Follow After a Road Traffic Accident

Seek Medical Treatment

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, your health should be your priority. For a major injury, ensure you call emergency services straight away and request an ambulance. For minor injuries, keep track of the injury in the coming days as it develops and try to keep a medical report of your situation as it happens.

Warn Other Drivers

Alert oncoming traffic of the danger they face if the vehicles involved in the accident are blocking a busy roadway. This can be particularly dangerous if the motor collision happens at a bend in the road. You can use hazard lights to convey the jeopardy.

Collect Information at the Scene

Exchange contact details with the drivers of the vehicles involved in the accident. If a hit and run accident occurred, and you are physically well enough, contact the nearest Garda station and alert them of the situation. Take pictures at the scene and keep record of all relevant facts connected to the accident.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Your insurance company will require an accident report if you were driving a vehicle involved in a road traffic accident.

Contact a Personal Injury Solicitor

For cases involving personal injury claims, you may wish to consider reaching out to a road traffic accident solicitor to talk you through the process and explain the merits of your case.

Steps Involved in Making a Personal Injury Claim

There are four steps that you should be conscious of if you want to go about filing a road traffic accident claim:

  • 1
    Seek legal guidance: if you choose not to file the claim yourself, contacting personal injury solicitors can be a good first step so as to begin legal proceedings as soon as possible.
  • 2
    Obtain medical records and any third-party reports: any evidence that supports your case should be acquired as quickly as possible.
  • 3
    Assess your claim for compensation: a solicitor should estimate the extent of any compensation based on the circumstances and severity of the personal injury.
  • 4
    Begin legal proceedings: your chances of success are aided by acting quickly. The application for your case should be submitted as soon as it can be.

Make a Road Traffic Accident Claim Today

If you feel as though you have suffered a road traffic accident claim that was not your fault, you may want to consider filing a claim for compensation.

At Hughes & Associates, our team of experienced solicitors is available to advise you on your situation and provide a full assessment of your case.

Contact us below.

Contact the Hughes & Associates Team